With four days remaining to finish the qualifying rounds, we present a balance of how the Colombian National Team is doing in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
Can Reinaldo Rueda and his coaching staff lead the Colombian National Team to its third consecutive World Cup? Photo: IG-FCFSeleccionCol
LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González
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Leer en español: Balance de la Selección Colombia en las Eliminatorias Catar 2022
On October 8, 2020, the South American Qualifiers began for the Qatar 2022 World Cup and, to date, the Colombian National Team remains in the fight to acquire one of the long-awaited tickets. The road has not been easy at all, because with just four games played, the Colombian Football Federation reached an agreement with former coach Carlos Queiroz to terminate his contract due to his bad start. However, in January 2021 Reinaldo Rueda took office, who since then has managed to improve some results.
On the occasion of the last two games of the year, in addition to the final stretch of the qualifying rounds, in LatinAmerican Post we have decided to carry out a general balance of the Colombian team during their 14 games played. Likewise, we will be detailing his performance both at home and away, without forgetting the last and decisive confrontations that he will have in the first three months of 2022. Can Reinaldo Rueda and his coaching staff lead the Colombian National Team to its third consecutive World Cup?
Ties at home
The key to success in a World Cup qualifier is to be strong at home. For the Colombian National Team, this point has not been entirely positive, since they have only added 10 points out of 21 possible: two wins, four draws and one defeat. The first two duels in Barranquilla, with Carlos Queiroz at the helm, the coffee team managed to beat Venezuela widely (3-0), but then they gave up on the third date against Uruguay (0-3).
The arrival of Reinaldo Rueda was a new start for the national team, and his first three home matches would be against direct rivals. Although the mission was to win, scoring points against Argentina (2-2) and Brazil (0-0) was well regarded, although the demand to triumph at home was always present. Chile ended up being the victim for the Colombians to get their third victory (3-1) of the playoffs.
The detail for Colombia was present as of last October, when their lack of forcefulness and little fortune chained up to five games (three of them at home) without scoring a goal. The 0-0 against Ecuador was repeated in the last game of the year against Paraguay. There, those led by Rueda again left home points despite dominating from start to finish, something that could undoubtedly take its toll when the competition ends.
Getting points away, another pending task
An essential part of qualifying for a World Cup is in the performance that takes place when playing away. In this line, the Colombian National Team has had its ups and downs, because, although it has two defeats, it has managed to score points in five presentations. The draw in Chile (2-2) was very positive if we combine it with the victory on the first date, however, the scandalous defeat against Ecuador (6-1) meant Queiroz's departure at the end of 2020.
From then on, and with Rueda at the helm, the coffee team had four outings in a row, scoring important points. A goal from Juan Guillermo Cuadrado gave them a draw (1-1) in Paraguayan territory; the first victory came against Peru (0-3) categorically; bittersweet equality was experienced against Bolivia (1-1), as the locals equalized with seven minutes remaining; while against Uruguay (0-0) there were neither emotions nor damage.
For its part, during the last visit in 2021, Colombia was defeated (1-0) against Brazil in a fairly even duel that was decided at minute 72. Despite the result, those led by Reinaldo Rueda showed good collective game although without much precision in the attack zone. In total, the team has added 7 units out of 21 possible all around South America, thus showing that it is another pending task for next year.
What does Colombia should expect for their "Final Lap"?
The schedule only has four games left and for the Colombian National Team those duels will be more than decisive. With 17 points, they are positioned in fourth place, but tied with Peru and very close to three other teams. On January 27 they will receive the Peruvians; days later they will travel to Argentina to try not to give up more ground.
Finally, on the double date of March they will receive Bolivia and visit Venezuela. Although on paper the confrontations seem accessible, the reality is that both teams will do everything possible to prevent Colombia from joining in its final stretch. We are a few months away from knowing who will be the four representatives of CONMEBOL in Qatar and the fifth who will go to the playoffs. Will the Colombian team have any of those World Cup tickets?